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A new Andean species of Philodryas (Dipsadidae, Xenodontinae) from Ecuador

Hussam Zaher, Juan C. Arredondo, Jorge H. Valencia, Ernesto Arbeláez, Miguel T. Rodrigues, Marco Altamirano-Benavides


We describe a new species of Philodryas from the highlands of southern Ecuador. The new species is distinguished from all known species of Philodryas by a unique combination of coloration, scalation, and hemipenial characters. The new species resembles Philodryas simonsii in color pattern. However, they differ notoriously by their hemipenial morphology. The three other trans-Andean members of the genus (Philodryas simonsii, Philodryas chamissonis, and Philodryas tachymenoides), along with the new species, compose a probably monophyletic group that may be characterized by the presence of ungrooved postdiastemal teeth in the maxilla. Unlike most species of the genus Philodryas, the new species shows a restricted distribution, being apparently endemic to a small region of high-altitude (3150–4450m) grasslands in the southern Andes of Ecuador.


Andes, Hemipenis, Neotropical Snakes, Philodryadini, taxonomy

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